As often seems to be the case, thanks go to Marc at Northen Stompboxes for lending me this pedal to review. The title is just a little joke, and I have not tried the other two versions of the Super Fuzz Bender (SFB) so cannot comment on whether this is in fact third time lucky. I do however imagine that as this is the third iteration of the pedal that the guys and gals over at Raygun have made some improvements over the previous versions otherwise why would they produce a new version?
Looking at the Raygun website it seems like the main improvement over the previous versions is the inclusions of the tone control and added fuzz. As I have already mentioned I have no idea what the level of fuzz is like on the Mk II but there is plenty of fuzz on tap in the Mk III.
The inclusion of a tone knob is a very welcome addition. It makes a positive difference to the sound. I personally prefer a more bass laden fuzz on most occasions but being able to include more treble can really help it cut through the mix. For this one inclusion I imagine the Mk III is a much more versatile pedal than the Mk II. The SFB can be quite a heavy aggressive fuzz when dimed, but when reduced it can just have a tickle of fuzz that suggests that something else will be unleashed. With the fuzz turned down fully, it is still a very present effect, but it does clean up very nicely when you roll back the volume on your instrument.
You can dig in quite a lot with the Super Fuzz Bender and it reacts well to the weight of your playing. Really thrash and it will scream at you. It also has a subtle octave type voicing that a like. It’s a different kind of beast from the fuzz I have on my board (Fredric Effects Green Russian). It has a bit more fuzz available and a little more treble than the Green Russian even with the tone turned fully towards bass. It is a more old school flavour of fuzz, and although it is very basic, it is perfect for a Hendrix fuzz or a pop punky Weezer song.
There are plenty of positives and only a few negatives to the Super Fuzz Bender. The pedal I tried out was of a slightly older batch that had a sticker rather than a painted finish. Raygun FX have upgraded their finishes from Q4 of 2017 and they look fantastic. If I was to buy an SFB I would wait until I could get one in the newer painted finish. I know this might seem like a silly thing, but it does add to the appeal of the pedal, especially when you consider that they are around a £70 retail price. They are already very good value for money for a well made good sounding fuzz, but with the newer finish they are even more of a bargain. If I’m being very picky It could possibly be housed in a smaller enclosure as it is rather large for a three knob single foot switch pedal. The graphics themselves leave a lot to be desired. This I would say is probably the worst looking of the Raygun FX pedals but I imagine that the graphics have stuck with it as it was one of the first pedals that Raygun made. I know it wont matter to everyone what the pedal actually looks like as long as it sounds good, but for me I prefer the look of the other Raygun pedals, they have used some really nice graphics on the Soda Drive and Aurora.
- Sounds fantastic
- Relativly cheap
- Handmade in the UK
- Could possibly be smaller
- Graphics arent as nice as other pedals by this company
- Stickers are a bit pants, would wait for a painted enclosure